Daily Scripture Reading 1 John 1

Verse of the Day – John 10:5-6
Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

Devotional Thoughts

As Jesus continues with the illustration about the shepherd and his sheep He lets us know those who belong to Him will not follow strangers. Those who are false professors and false teachers will not be able to draw the true sheep away from their shepherd.

The sheep know the voice of their shepherd, and He calls them by name, individually. He leads them out to pasture and cares for all their needs. So when a stranger comes along and tries to persuade the sheep to follow him, the sheep know and refuse.

Jesus goes as far as to say that when the sheep hear the voice of the stranger they run the other direction. They flee. True believers have no desire to confront the stranger or expose him, their only thought is to get away because the stranger is not the shepherd and therefore is not trustworthy.

When we come across false teachers and we recognize that they are not followers of Christ, we don’t need to stick around and try to duke it out theologically. We should flee and warn others about the danger. Too many Christians today are looking for a fight! Jesus didn’t fight. He loved, exposed, warned, preached, led, and forgave, but He never fought. Even while they mocked Him and killed Him He did not offer resistance. I truly believe that too many believers today are far too combative in their witnessing and their relationships. We should be salt and light as we love, stand firm, and flee wickedness. We are not super-christians who are called to fight and claw and scratch and attack. We are ambassadors of reconciliation between men and God.

We need to learn that if we hear the voice of a stranger we are called to flee (get away) and warn others. That’s it. Not fight and devour and kill and expose. Just flee and warn. Even Michael the Archangel did not fight against Satan, he stood aside and proclaimed “The Lord rebuke you!” Only the Lord can and has defeated Satan. We simply need to turn him over to God, he is stronger and smarter than we are. Satan is powerful and sneaky, but he is also defeated. Resist him and ask God to rebuke him.

The lesson is simple. Your parents taught it to you as a child. “Don’t talk to strangers!” If you hear a teacher or so-called believer and you don’t recognize His voice in them get away and warn others. Remember, sometimes it takes time to listen. Also be very careful, the things we expose ourselves to emotionally, physically, and even spiritually will affect our ability to listen and discern. We can harm our hearing. If we entertain ideas from strangers and listen to what they teach and embrace “dialogue” with them to further the cause of truth we may be in danger of failing to recognize that they are strange and false. Listen to His voice and then you will easily hear the voice of the stranger when he appears.

The crowd Jesus was speaking to totally missed what He was teaching. He was showing Himself as the true, good shepherd and believers as the sheep in His fold. As He used the illustration of the shepherd and the sheep the people simply did not get it. They failed to understand what He was communicating.

Jesus will go on in the rest of the chapter here to explain further how He is the shepherd, and the gate to the fold. He will expand on what He is saying in order that the crowd might get the point, but for now we simply have this commentary from John. The people did not understand what he was saying.

That is one of the chief dangers we face in preaching and teaching the truth of God’s Word. There will be those who just don’t understand; the gospel will do them no good if it is not understood. As a matter of fact, in the parable of the sower, Jesus taught that the seed that fell on the wayside was the Word that was not understood and as a result Satan came and snatched away the truth that had been taught. To hear and misunderstand is to be further hardened to the truth.

We must strive to present the gospel with what we say as well as with what we do and how we live, praying that the Spirit will open the eyes and ears of those to whom we are preaching. It by His power alone that all confusion can be put away so that the gospel message can be heard and understood. We must strive to be clear in what we preach, but even if we do all we can, people still will not understand at times. After all, they misunderstood Jesus here.

The key to understanding Him is understanding His Word. Express to Him your desire to know Him and His Word. Read His Word today and work at understanding. Look for the truth He would have for you today, and don’t settle for shallow understanding. Search for the deep things in the Word. Read past the surface and find Jesus on every page of your Bible – the Word after all is simply God’s way to present to us Jesus. Today, don’t lean on your own understanding, trust Him and His Word. He will not fail you and He surely will never mislead you.

Bible Reading For Further Study

Psalm 5:6-11; 59:12-13; 82:5; 85:8
Psalm 92:6; 94:4-11; 106:7; 107:43; 119:27
Proverbs 28:5
Isaiah 28:9-10

Recommended Songs for Worship

O for a Thousand Tongues
I Sing the Mighty Power of God